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Army gets DRDO's NBC-attack detection vehicle

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) logo. A file photo.

NEW DELHI (PTI): The Army has for the first time inducted a DRDO-built, low-cost vehicle to detect attacks on the country using nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) weapons.

The indigenous vehicle, developed by DRDO's five labs, will now be used in reconnaissance missions to detect nuclear radiations, and chemical or biological agents in the environment inside the country's territory, DRDO officials said Monday.

Based on a BMP-IIK Infantry Fighting Vehicle chassis, the vehicle would cost the Indian defence establishment a fourth of that of the imported varieties, saving the country's precious foreign exchange, the officials said without giving details.

The BMP-IIK, which has a cross-country capability and adequate shield for the crew members, was fitted with nuclear, chemical, biological, meteorological and positional sensors for monitoring any contamination.

The vehicle would be used for demarcating the contaminated zones with a flag-marking system and samples of soil and water collected using an in-built scooping device.

It could also display and store NBC contamination data in its control console and transmit it to the Army's Command Headquarters on request through Communication Link Controller and Star-V radio set. .
Troops on the vehicle could also perform personal monitoring of the contamination using various nuclear and chemical monitors in dismount-mode.

NBC hazardous zone could be predicted by personnel on board the vehicle using the software available for the purpose.

"The data transmitted by the vehicle after a reconnaissance mission can be used by the Command Control Centre for further planning for management of any NBC eventuality," the DRDO officials said.

The Army has placed orders for eight limited series production of the NBC Reconnaissance Vehicle, which were at present under production at the ordnance factory at Medak and Pune-based BEL factory by involving private sector industries in the project, officials said.

The first of these NBC recce vehicles was handed over to Army on June 27 this year in the presence of Engineer-in-Chief Lt Gen Gautam Dutt, DRDO chief M Natrajan, DRDO chief controller D Banerjee, 12 Corps Commander Lt Gen A M Verma.

In addition to these specialised vehicles, the DRDO has also developed 60 other projects specifically for NBC defence and have been introduced into the armed forces, officials said.

"India is now almost self-reliant for equipment and products relating to the strategic area of NBC protection," the officials added.

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